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What are you currently reading?
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is soooo cool! And what a great title! I'll be looking for it so let us know should it hit print;! So Michigan is actually Greater Ontario eh? You make me laugh!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While merrily reading Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, my introduction to the Discworld series, I'm also listening to CLEAVING, by Julie Powell--the woman behind Julie and Julia! While I'm finding it hugely entertaining I doubt it would be everyone's cuppa. Anyone who only saw the movie of Julie and Julia was given a rather sanitized view of our Julie who in truth is one heck of a potty mouth! CLEAVING centres on 3 of Julie's many addictions--a new found interest in butchery, and recurrent addictions to adultery and alcoholism. Not for the squeamish on occasion, either the butchery or the adultery, but I'm finding it compellingly listenable!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh David, I do hope you like Pratchett. My favourite of his is Guards! Guards! I think he has a peculiarly British sense of humour, which I suppose is no surprise as he is British!! But I would be interested to see how non-Brits view him.

There are lots of references to Shakespeare in some of the books too, which I love. His witches are fabulous too, especially Nanny Ogg, tho' I do like Granny Weatherwax too.

I'm reading the new Boris Akunin thriller, but also reading J.M. Clezio's Book of Flights which is very experimental and quite fascinating. I think artists would like it because it would present them with an interesting challenge.

Before that I was reading... Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, which was a lot of fun!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax is that they're like Merlin in that if they're present they sort of take over. Everybody else plays a supporting role.

But they're both delightful characters.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, am finding Pratchett positively Pythonesque in his wit and humour and sense of the absurd! Will look forward to more. Guards! Guards! eh? Okay, KY--have you a fave? I'm just not likely to plough his entire series so am happy for help in selecting.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having a ball reading "The Gay Place" by Billy Lee Brammer. (No LGBT connection.) It was recommended by a political writer I enjoy-- in her words:
"My favorite book about Washington - that's not set in Washington - is called The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer. ... it's a fairly obscure novel. It was published in the mid-Sixties, and written by LBJ's chief of staff and press aide. It's a very thinly veiled imagining of LBJ... set in Austin, [capitol of Texas] but it's about the kind of relationships and maneuvering that happen in Washington every day, just on a smaller scale. It's a fantastic book. I reread it regularly." Ana Marie Cox

In our house we like politics, like other people like sports, so I'm absolutely eating this one up.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read all that many of the Discworld series, David, so hesitate to make recommendations. Sure as shooting I'd leave out the best ones.

Based on those I have read, though, I can state unequivicably that Prachett just ain't right---and I mean that in a good way.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha' KYH, I know exactly what you mean!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: J. D. Salinger Reply with quote

I had just the right temperament and it was just the right time when I found his stories--"The Laughing Man" still makes me cry. I read it aloud to my (then boyfriend) 30 years ago. He reacted with respect and appreciation.

Do the booksellers here (David and Judy, 2 that I know of...) expect an attic full of manuscripts to be discovered?

Nabokov's family decided it was OK to publish after he died, against his wishes, it seems, publishing a book made up of photos of his notes for a book. I can't decide if this is tacky or good for the world. Anybody "read" it here?
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No bookseller here, gingerpale, just an old English student weighing in. I find myself waffling frequently on the posthumous "publish or not publish" question. After all, who wouldn't love to have a newly discovered Shakespeare sonnet or play? On the other hand, the posthumously published Hemingway (against his wishes, btw) was just sad. I'll be very surprised if any more Salinger is published unless that's something he expressly wished to have happen, and I think the chances of that are very slim. His family seems to respect his wishes for privacy as well. Of course...if they're broke (how cynical is that??)....

Someone said to me recently that the next decade will see the loss of many of the Boomer Generation's cultural and intellectual touchstones, those people and institutions that shaped how that generation sees itself, the world, etc. It's certainly started already, and as one of those touchstones might have said...it's "lousy".
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah it's tricky the posthumous publishing idea! E. M. Forster wouldn't allow Maurice to be published until he died and while a brave (for it's time) piece of work it could probably have been much better if E. M. had been able to have a proper to and fro with a good editor.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's often the problem with posthumous publishing, David.

The fact is, much of our great literature owes more to a talented editor than to the author. And is shows most in all those "discovered" manuscripts.

Recent examples would include most of the Louis Lamour stuff published after his death, all of the posthumous Heinlein, etc.

It's said that Robert Parker left two completed manuscripts in his computer. Time will tell (likely this year) what they read like.

Thing that gets me most about Salinger is you could conclude, from all the eulogies and obits, that the only thing he ever wrote was Catcher. And that it's only message had to do with teenage angst.

Ah, well. As the poet said, sic transit glorious mundi---and tuesday will likely be worse.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'The Danish Girl' ~ Nicole Kidman is to take the role of Einar Wegener. Yep...I can see that working.

David Ebershoff ...aware and insightful...empathetic..
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone said to me recently that the next decade will see the loss of many of the Boomer Generation's cultural and intellectual touchstones, those people and institutions that shaped how that generation sees itself, the world, etc. It's certainly started already, and as one of those touchstones might have said...it's "lousy".

It strikes me, Georgia, that this is one of those comments that initially sounds profound, until you examine it.

"Cultural and intellectual touchstones" for the boomer generation would include anyone and anything that existed since the 50s. So who's to decide? Do we include Kerouak and the Beats? The Beach Boys? John Lennon?

Good case, that last. No doubt John Lennon had a profound and lasting effect on our collective psyche. But, realistically, 50 years from now will anyone know who he was?

More than any other event, Viet Nam shaped how the boomers saw themselves and and the world they lived in. But there are as many opinions about it as there are surviving boomers.

Now then, bringing it home. All of us read Catcher. All of us reacted to it, cuz it touched a cord in our teenaged and post-teenaged hearts. And yet, as literature it isn't much. We all also read Tropic of Cancer, don't forget; and Lady Chatterly's Lover; and Lolita---none of which are particularly remembered today.

Other than a general impression (and unless you recently reread it), what do you really remember from The Catcher In The Rye? For me, only one line stands out: "You can't erase all the F... You signs in the world." Sticks with me because it was, I believe, the true thesis of the book. But given the tilting at windmills our generation is prone to do, I rather doubt it had a significant effect on how we see the world or our place in it.

So, while it's currently popular to think of Salinger as this towering intellect who influenced us as a people, I think not. Indeed, other than Holden Caufield, virtually everything he wrote dealt with the dysfunctional Glass menagerie. The fact you can only go so far with a single subject might explain his lack of output the past 30-something years.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KYH, the statement was an observation not a proclamation. As you point out, who is to decide what or who influences anyone? We each have moments, people, events that are special to us alone (or, granted, to some--but not necessarily all -- others). The death of some '60s recording artist who sang the song I danced to with my high school boyfriend is not going to affect you in the way that it does me.

My point is that I am getting to an age where I see more and more touchstones of my youth going away. The same thing happened to my parents, and it will happen to my children and grandchildren. What those touchstones actually are doesn't matter. It's the experience of having had them and experiencing their loss.

As for Salinger, I don't think many literary critics see him as a towering intellect, but rather as a writer who captured perfectly a certain angst of a specific generation at a very specific moment. For me, "Franny and Zooey" and some of the short stories resonated more than "Catcher". Once again...one man's meat. (As a further example, the one sentence that stands out for you did not register with me in the same way.)
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